As per the corrections officials, South African paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius, who was convicted of killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in 2013, may be eligible for parole soon.
The Department of Correctional Services (DCD) confirmed to CNN on Tuesday that Pistorius must first participate in “Restorative Justice” before being eligible for release.
In a statement, Department of Correctional Services spokesman Singabakho Nxumalo said, “The Department of Correctional Services can confirm its engagement with the family of the late Reeva Steenkamp on a matter involving inmate Oscar Pistorius.”
Pistorius shot Steenkamp in the early hours of February 14, 2013, at his home in an upscale Pretoria neighbourhood, claiming it was an accident after he mistook her for an intruder, but the prosecution claimed it was a deliberate act after the two had an argument.
After months of hearings, Pistorius was convicted of manslaughter in 2014 and sentenced to five years in prison, but a higher court overturned the conviction and changed it to murder a year later.
Pistorius was sentenced to six years in prison by the judge, who described him as a “fallen hero” who will never be at peace.
However, Pistorius’ sentence for the murder of Reeva Steenkamp was more than doubled by a South African high court in 2017.
For the murder of Steenkamp, the Supreme Court of Appeal increased his sentence to 13 years and five months. It made the decision after the prosecution argued that his previous six-year sentence was too lenient.
According to Nxumalo’s statement, before an offender can be considered for parole, he or she must participate “in programmes aimed at preparing them for a crime-free life beyond incarceration,” such as Restorative Justice, which allows offenders to acknowledge and take responsibility for their actions.
The goal of the process is to “provide parties with an opportunity to reconcile” or apologise for their actions.